My favorite books of 2014

I’m pretty much a book addict. I’ll read almost any genre. Occasionally, I’ll ignore essentials like eating, drinking, and using the restroom in order to finish a scene I’m reading. I’ve never taken one of those Goodreads challenges to read a specific number of books because I’m already reading well over a hundred books a year. Setting goal just seems pointless for me. (Notice I said, “for me.” I think other people can benefit from them greatly because it encourages them to read more or to read more genres they might not otherwise venture into.)

Anyway, I’ve read lots of books, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I read many new books. Our family’s budget would not be able to support my reading habit if I purchased my drugs supplies. We go to at least one library at least once a week. However, there’s usually a lag time between when a book is published and when it arrives at the library. And if the writer is less well-known, the lag might be even longer. If your 2014 book isn’t on this list, don’t be offended. I just haven’t found it on the shelf at the library yet!

With that in mind, I present…

My Favorite New Books of 2014

  1. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – A gripping fantasy read for ages 16 and up. Even at 1000+ pages, it will leave you begging for the sequel. I particularly enjoyed it after a lackluster 2014 performance by many of my stand-by authors.
  2. Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender in Judaism by Miriam Kosman – Thoughtful and accessible consideration of gender within Orthodox Jewish thought and practice for readers of all stripes.
  3. Forget Me Not by Nancy Van Laan – This picture book does a delicate job of introducing Alzheimers and other forms of dementia to to children 5 and up. Truly touching.
  4. The Littlest Levine by Sandy Lanton – A charming picture book about a little girl who hates being the baby of the family, with a nice tie-in to Passover. The “baby” in our family loves it.
  5. Also noteworthy: Ruchama King Feuerman (whose newest book, Bina Lobell’s Super-Secret Diary, I haven’t gotten my hands on yet) found a print publisher for her 2013 release-to-ebook In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist and Henye Meyer released an updated version of A Stranger to My Brothers.

Readers, please share your favorite books of 2014 in a comment (I’ll cut you slack if some are from 2013)!

5 thoughts on “My favorite books of 2014

  1. Probably the only reason there’s none of the same old stuff here is because I haven’t read so many of the new books yet! I do think I saw Words of Radiance on a couple of the best of 2014 lists, though, and I almost put another one I have seen on others on my list, though: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bojalian. It was so well done, so evocative, but so disturbing I couldn’t actually call it a “favorite.”

    And I guess I read more widely than most people, so I guess genre-hopping on a best of list is part of that.


    • Excellent question! Brandon Sanderson books are — and I’ve only read about 6 of them so far, so I could be mistaken — much less racy than most fantasy novels. However, there are a few hints here and there you might not want your kids reading in The Way of Kings (the first, and also excellent, volume in the series with Words of Radiance), Words of Radiance, and Elantris. On the other hand, some of these bits might just go over their heads! However, there’s another concern I had: many Brandon Sanderson books deal with religion (especially made-up ones) and the way it’s handled in those books is rather adult and complex, and I don’t think they should be read by kids until they are ready to think on their feet and be secure in their beliefs. Thus, at least a 16 year old.

      On the other hand Sanderson has several books for younger audiences that I HIGHLY recommend for those ages. Those are the Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians series and the newish The Rithmatist. All are available at both BH and LA City libraries.


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